Art, Animation & Film Analysis by James Chiang - RSS Feed

James Chiang's Weekly Blog for Creative Insight & Inspiration

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Discarding the inessential

“Ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself.” — Bruce Lee Listening to oneself, to one’s inner voice, is a very hard thing to do. In fact, it’s probably the most difficult battle the artist faces everyday — to align both the heart and mind in the same direction. The goal of the artists is always… Continue reading →

The Big Picture

“Great knowledge sees all in one. Small knowledge breaks down into the many.” — Chuang Tzu I remember this great moment from Steve Martin’s brilliantly written fantasty romance-comedy L.A. Story. It was the last scene of the movie, the hero has defeated all the odds, won the heart of the woman he loves and has… Continue reading →

Favorite Films: Animated Shorts

“I think that short films often contain an originality, a creative freedom, an energy and an invention that is inspiring and entertaining. I think they are, as Shakespeare put it, a good deed in a naughty world.” — Kenneth Branagh, Actor/Director I love animated short films. They really don’t get enough attention because there’s not… Continue reading...

the Fallacy of Efficiency

Some thoughts about efficiency: Being efficient doesn’t equate to being effective. Trying to be efficient places your attention from doing to efficiency itself, and that’s not very efficient. When inspiration strikes, you take action, you don’t act only when it’s convenient or necessarily when it’s scheduled. Chasing efficiency implies rushing and rushing...

Habits — Good or Bad?

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” — John Dryden, Poet Much has been said about building good habits (and removing bad ones). This not what this essay is about. Rather, I’d like us to think about what habits really are and why they exist, and how they come to dominate… Continue reading →

Freedom From vs Freedom To

“Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Poet When we refer to freedom, especially here in the west, we think of the idea of having options; the opportunity to endlessly do, limitlessly choose and… Continue reading →

Sabateurs & Saviours: Part 2

“The universe is also actively benevolent.” — Steven Pressfield, Writer We’ve discussed the ego — that malevolent force of resistence that entices with its rationality, ambition and self-serving obsession — but bigger and more powerful is the force of honour, truth, beauty and freedom. That amazing creative energy is incalculable, immeasurable and often...

Saboteurs & Saviours: Part 1

Being an artist is hard. The promise of true freedom, honest self-expression, and joyful meaningfulness is often met with harsh and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Those obstacles are the Saboteurs to your creativity calling. “… any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower… will elicit Resistance.” — Steven Pressfield, Writer...

A bit about Acting

“I believe in imagination. I did Kramer vs. Kramer before I had children. But the mother I would be was already inside me.” — Meryl Streep, Actor Acting is hard. That’s the first thing one has to acknowledge when one begins to study its form. Some would even say that actors are born and not… Continue reading →

The Giving Spirit

“Art is the giving by each man of his evidence to the world. Those who wish to give, love to give, discover the pleasure of giving. Those who give are tremendously strong.” — Robert Henri, Artist The generosity of spirit that the artist has to expend is often ummeasurable. He commits significant resources for his… Continue reading →

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